Jotunheimen is one of Norway’s most alpine areas with sharp peaks and deep valleys. The dramatic landscape is made up of snow, ice, rocks and vegetation.
In the Jotunheimen National Park you will find one of Norway’s most popular and stunning hikes, the narrow Besseggen ridge that runs between a green and a blue lake. The area is also the home of Galdhøpiggen, the highest peak in Northern Europe at 2,469 metres above sea level.
Maps are sold in local shops, tourist information offices and hotels around Jotunheimen. You can also find maps of Jotunheimen in well stocked bookshops all over Europe as well as online.
The best time of year for hiking in Jotunheimen is from the middle of July until the middle of August. June and September or even early October may also offer pleasant hiking conditions, depending on weather conditions and the amount of snow.
There are more than 50 marked routes within the national park and about a further 70 in the surrounding areas. The duration of the hikes vary from one hour up to eight or ten hours. There are also plenty of opportunities for multi-day hikes, lasting from three to ten days or even longer.
For hikes to the higher areas of the Jotunheimen National Park, an average physical condition is recommended and previous experience is definitely a benefit.
Families and non-experienced hikers may prefer one of the flat, easy routes in the valleys. There are also short, easy hikes outside the park, for example in Lom or in the Skjåk municipality.
Aursjoe cultural path
Huldrestigen cultural path in Sjodalen
Bordvassvegen cultural path
Guided tours are available on our most popular hikes to Galdhøpiggen and Besseggen, and L&S Adventure offers via ferrata tours to the top of the Lomseggen peak, a few kilometres west of central Lom. In addition, a number of local activity companies offer guided tours.
If you want to explore the glaciers, a guided tour is highly recommended for your own safety. Guided glacier hikes are provided on most glaciers, for example the Svellnosbreen Glacier near Spiterstulen and the Bøverbreen, which is a part of the Smørstabbreen glaciers. The tours on these glaciers start at Krossbu or Sognefjellshytta.
Accommodation typically consists of basic standard mountain huts with rooms and dormitories, many of which are provided by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). Huts of a higher standard are becoming more common however, in particular privately owned huts such as Memurubu and Krossbu. The huts are connected in a system of more than 50 marked routes, which means that you can walk for days in the mountains.
There are also some small hotels on the border of the park, for example the Besseggen mountain lodge and cabins. Camping is available in the eastern and northern sides of the park, for example the Lemonsjøen Resort where you can also rent high standard cabins and flats.
How to get there
Jotunheimen is situated in the heart of Norway, between the three biggest cities Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. The area is easy to reach by bus, or by train and bus, from all these cities. By car it takes around five hours and 30 minutes from Oslo Airport Gardermoen, four hours and 30 minutes from Trondheim and five hours from Bergen.
Read more about how to get to Jotunheimen.
It is advisable to bring warm, windproof clothing in several layers and good quality ankle supporting mountain boots when hiking in Jotunheimen.
Please note that snow conditions vary considerably throughout the area. The western part of the park usually gets more snow than the eastern part, but it depends on the direction of the wind. In the area around Lom on the north side of the park it tends to rain rather than snow. The national park is often covered in snow from the middle of October to the middle of June. Areas over 2,000 metres above sea level are always covered in snow.
More information is available at Jotunheimen’s official website.